Essay: “President Trump’s Foreign Policy” By Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

There is a constant criticism of Trump’s foreign policy by media and ultra-liberals. They constantly remind us that his policies are not moral and ethical. Whether it’s the trade dispute with China, his pushing North Korea to scuttle its nukes or his demand that NATO members spend more on defense, the headlines sound the same: “Trump inflames. . . Trump escalates . . . Trump doubles down . . . Trump risks . . .”
We forget to realize that “politics is a slippery ground; they that wish to walk on this ground must walk with due care.” Those who demand ethics and morality in foreign affairs should realize that we are dealing with brute forces and nasty intentions of our enemies and allies alike who don’t care about morality and ethics when it comes to their ‘pound of flesh.’ They look for opportunities to take advantage of us and beat us if we are not careful in dealing with them. Busy attacking Trump, the critics also ignore the fact that his efforts are bearing fruit.
We cannot judge the consequence of foreign policies on a day to day basis. It takes time for actions of a leader to materialize. The fact is that in almost two years of his presidency, the world hasn’t ended and since we’re not dead yet, I humbly suggest it’s time to take a deep breath and consider the other side of the story.
Though he is viewed by his critics as a jingoist, the chances of war with North Korea have diminished. There are no more missile testing or firing them across the Sea of Japan by Kim Jong–un anymore.
The critics often comment about his European policy by blaming that Trump is tearing the NATO alliance apart by publicly airing dirty laundry, including his blast at Germany for spending billions to buy energy from Russia. In reality, the European Union has agreed to buy more energy from America and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has credited Trump for pushing a “clear message” that members need to speed up defense hikes. He said Trump’s effort led to higher spending this year. We should also keep in mind that the European countries paid billions to America in past due amount.
Machiavelli wrote The Prince to serve as a handbook for rulers where he claims explicitly that he is not interested in talking about ideal republics or imaginary utopias, as many of his predecessors had done: “There is such a gap between how one lives and how one should live that he who neglects what is being done for what should be done will learn his destruction rather than his preservation.”
The Art of War was written by the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu in 500 B.C., and is still considered a gospel for war and strategic thinking in organizations and politics around the globe. His analysis is that success very simply is advancing our position, improving our market share, if you will, while avoiding costly direct conflicts. By using strategy, as opposed to brute force, we can advance our position in such a way that people do not want to attack us and, ideally want to join us. In warfare and marketing, this means finding openings where we can go around the competitors rather than battling them directly. That’s how Mr. Trump keeps on baffling China, Korea, EU, Canada and Mexico.
Jawaharlal Nehru, then prime minister of India was an idealist. He wanted to deal with India’s neighbor, China on moral grounds. He even accepted China’s claim on Tibet to keep peace in the region. The Chinese ran up to the 1962 Sino-India war. The war remains one of the most humiliating defeats for India that affected the Indian morale and damaged India’s efforts to present itself as an emerging power. China considered India to be a long term threat and the Chinese leadership wanted to deliver a major blow to India’s political and military leadership, and demonstrate its big power status. Later, the Chinese President was heard saying: “The attack had taught India a lesson and that for future Nehru and the Indians must be taught that they cannot change the border status quo by force.
Ironically, India’s greatest political thinker, Chanakya (23 BC) had a different idea. He suggested four principles while dealings in politics, namely, ‘Sama’, ‘dama’, ‘bheda’ and ‘danda (meaning conciliation, bribing, division and punishment respectively – Chanakya’s Arthshastra). Though Mr. Trump is often criticized as an unstable leader by his critics for changing his behavior from considerate to ruthless towards the leaders of other countries, we fail to realize that different situations and circumstances require different treatments. Mr. Trump demonstrates this quite well in his dealing with other nations.
Media and ultra-liberals who oppose anything that Mr. Trump embarks on and whose only motto is to get rid of Trump by hook or crook should understand that there is a way to get rid of him. That is called the presidential election. Meanwhile, let him do his job and let us do ours.


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